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Courses - Spring 2024
Philosophy Department Site
Open Seats as of
02/21/2024 at 06:30 PM
Are Sports Ethical?
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Credit only granted for: PHIL205, PHIL209G, or HONR229E.
Formerly: HONR229E.
Things happen routinely in sports that would seem morally unacceptable in other context: violence between the participants, attempts to trick the referee, fans hoping that some players would do embarrassingly badly, spectators feeling anger towards whole nations. Nonetheless, all of this may seem reasonable and even justifiable within a sporting context. This course will investigate the ethical structure of sports, and what it tells us about the ethics of everyday life. Philosophy will provide the primary disciplinary context, but we will also think about sociological, legal and anthropological perspectives on sports. Issues will include the nature of sportsmanship, what types of violence in sports are acceptable, drug use in sports, what it means to be a fan (for example, asking why loyalty to your team is valuable) and how our view of sports interacts with our view of nations. By the end of the course you should have gained familiarity with a variety of ethical concepts and a sensitivity to the ethical issues in sports. You should also find that by thinking about morality in the context of sports, you will look at larger ethical issues in new ways.